Sunday, 28 October 2012
Gowon Lambasts Achebe; Says His Book Was Written Out of Ignorance
"What role did Achebe play in the secessionist plans? Achebe must have been outside the country during the war and probably did not know what happened during the period otherwise he would not have written on what he was not sure of ".
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has criticized renowned author, Professor Chinua Achebe, over his new book on the Nigerian civil war, saying Achebe does not know the facts of the issue he was writing about.
Gowon said he was ready to face the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague on the matter if necessary.
“In fact , if there was no secession by the south eastern part of the country, there would have been no civil war because right from the beginning of the crises, the war would have been averted if not for the secession . It was something I believed we could have stopped,” he stressed.
Gowon also debunked the claim by the author that his administration embarked on the mass killing of Igbo, adding that the federal troops did not also use hunger as a weapon to dislodge the dissidents.
“It was the Igbo that objected to the creation of corridor for movements of medical aid and food supplies to the civilian population at the period. On this, I am ready to face the International Criminal Court of Justice at the Hague for prosecution over the role played by me during the war and, fortunately, some Nigerians are still alive to bear witness to the roles played by both the leadership of the secessionist group and the then Federal Military Government under my leadership," Gowon stressed
Gowon also revealed that during the war, a ship named “Josina” and owned by the secessionist group, which they claimed was carrying agricultural implements, was captured by federal troops and when it was subjected to a thorough search, the cargo turned out to be a collection of arms and ammunition.
The erstwhile Nigerian leader, was answering questions from journalists when he visited Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu at the Presidential Lodge, Minna, Niger state, on Saturday.